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Japan Robotics Power

Japanese Robots Await Call To Action 50

Kyusaku Natsume writes with this excerpt from a Kyodo News report on the robots Japan has available on standby to work at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant: "Japanese robots designed for heavy lifting and data collection have been prepared for deployment at irradiated reactor buildings of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power station, where US-made robots have already taken radiation and temperature readings as well as visual images at the crippled facility via remote control. ... Enryu (rescue dragon) was developed in the aftermath of the magnitude-7.3 Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit the Kobe area in 1995. Designed to engage in rescue work, the remote-controlled robot has two arms that can lift objects up to 100 kg. It has 'undergone training' at the Kitakyushu municipal fire department in Fukuoka Prefecture."
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Japanese Robots Await Call To Action

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  • by Kyusaku Natsume ( 1098 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @08:35AM (#35920334)

    For example, they could find the same troubles than the guys at Sandia labs trying to fix a stuck source of radiation with a M2 robot: []

    Having random plastic parts of your robot melting because they are not good to use inside a gamma ray oven is really bad. That electronics need radiation shielding is a know problem, but the performance of the rest of the pieces of equipment is something that they would know until they test it in the field or in a radiation test chamber.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @09:01AM (#35920444)

    Amazing, isn't it?

    Only to someone who doesn't have a clue what's going on. Every time we get one of these superficial stories that talks about some minor goof up in the Fukushima recovery/clean up, we get drama from the armchair engineers who remain eager to second guess things. My suspicion is that these guys have been showered with offers of robotic support from all over the world. They'll just have to test this stuff and see what works and what doesn't.

    The thing is, the accident is over. Perhaps it will amount to something significant, but that hasn't happened yet. What they're doing now is radioactivity containment and repair of the systems for cooling the cores.

    There isn't any research in how to react to such an "eventuality", because the industry doesn't want to know. It is just not supposed to happen.

    This is the research. Learn by doing. People seem to ignore that there has been perhaps three other accidents comparable to Fukushima in the history of civilian power generation (as opposed to experimental reactors and military power). None of those accidents have much in common with Fukushima (all three were heavy on human operator error and light on magnitude 9 earthquakes).

    And when you have accidents that rare, what do you do? Make your own accidents? That's what they did with Chernobyl, after all.

    That's how an industry in the hands of the Titanic syndrome looks like.

    And clueless person bases their perception of "an industry" on a crap movie? Say it ain't so!

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva